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Login Queue

Last updated on April 16, 2024

Overview

The AccelByte Gaming Services (AGS) Login Queue feature provides an elegant solution to manage the influx of players during times of high traffic. These events can include game launches, major updates, or peak hours. This feature prevents server overloads and ensures a smoother experience for players by gradually allowing them to access the game instead of overwhelming the server all at once.

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In the gaming industry, this feature is also commonly referred to as "waiting room."

The Login Queue feature allows you to provide players their current position and estimated wait time in the queue. This provides a more organized and predictable experience.

Here is an example of a login queue in a popular game:

The World of Warcraft login queue

Configure Login Queue

In this section, you will learn how to configure the Login Queue and how it works.

Basic configuration

The Login Queue can be activated per game namespace by setting up the feature configuration. Setting up the Login Queue is straightforward. There are only two essential properties which need to be handled by game developers:

  • Max concurrency: The maximum number of players who can be logged in at the same time (e.g., 1,000,000 players).

  • Max Login rate per second: The maximum number of player logins that can be handled by the account system per second (e.g., 500 logins per second).

Advanced configuration

After setting the two required properties, admins can activate the login queue for a game directly by clicking the Activate button in the configuration.

If you have specific requirements and want more in-depth customization of the login queue, AGS provides a couple of advanced property settings. In general, these will be set with default values, but you can modify them as needed.

  • Safety margin: Margin triggering the queue before reaching the max concurrency. For example, if the max concurrency is set to 1,000,000, a value of 5% means the queue starts when concurrency reaches 950,000 players.

  • Cool-Down: When the login queue is enabled, the game will wait for this amount of time pass without a trigger before deactivating the queue. For example, 300 seconds. This is because we want to prevent the Login Queue being enabled or disabled too frequently. It is also increases Login Queue performance and reduces unnecessary resource cost.

  • Queue reconnect grace period: Duration for the players to reconnect before losing their position in the queue. If a player reconnects during the grace period, they will be inserted at their last known position. For example, if they were at position 500 and they reconnect, they will go back to position 500.

  • Player reconnect grace period: Duration for logged in players to reconnect to the game before being put in the queue when they disconnect or sign off. If they were fully logged in, they go back to the queue at position zero (i.e., the top of the queue).

Exemption configuration

There are also cases where you'd want to skip the login queue or insert specific user accounts at the top of the queue. The following configuration options are designed for these scenarios.

  • Exempted Accounts: Multiple specific accounts that should be inserted at the top of the queue. For example, administration accounts, QA accounts, or VIP accounts.

  • Exempted IAM Clients: Specific applications that should be excluded from the login queue. For example, you've created a web portal for the game and you don't want to put players into the queue when they sign into that website, but you want to do so for the game client.

Sample use cases

When a large number of players attempt to log in simultaneously, it can put a significant strain on the game servers. The AGS Login Queue helps manage the influx, preventing server crashes or instability that could negatively impact the gaming experience for everyone. Here are some sample use cases:

  • Game launch:

    Scenario: A highly anticipated game is launching, and thousands of players are eager to log in and start playing.

    Use Case: You implement a login queue to prevent server overload, ensuring a smooth launch and allowing players to enter the game gradually.

  • Major update release:

    Scenario: A game releases a significant update with new features, content, or fixes. This attracts a surge of players wanting to experience the changes.

    Use Case: To avoid server instability and provide fair entry for all players, you can activate a login queue during the initial hours of the update.

  • Special events or promotions:

    Scenario: Your game hosts a special in-game event or promotion that attracts a large player turnout.

    Use Case: You use a login queue to help manage the increased player activity, preventing server crashes and ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in the event.

  • Free-to-play weekends:

    Scenario: Your game offers a free-to-play weekend, resulting in a sudden influx of players trying out the game.

    Use Case: To accommodate the temporary increase in player numbers, you implement a login queue to avoid overwhelming the servers and maintain a stable gaming experience.

  • Server maintenance:

    Scenario: Scheduled server maintenance or updates are underway and players are attempting to log back in once the maintenance is completed.

    Use Case: You employ a login queue to manage the initial rush of players returning to the game after maintenance. This prevents server instability.

  • Peak hours:

    Scenario: There are certain peak hours during the day when a large number of players log in simultaneously.

    Use Case: To distribute the incoming player load evenly and prevent server strain during peak times, you use a login queue to regulate access.

Interaction

This section explains how you can use various Login Queue features.

Add players to queue

The login queue is the first login step of user authentication to a game namespace. It happens right after the authentication but before anything else such as checking legal documents.

While the player is in the queue, they have a minimum set of permissions Basically, the only one action the queued players can perform is to logout or cancel the queue. This aborts the login process and frees their spot in the queue.

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Queued players can be aware of their position in the queue and estimated wait time until they are out of the queue. This is handled by AGS automatically.

Enable Login Queue

Once you have set up the login queue configuration, you can enable the login queue by multiple automatic triggers:

  1. Automatic Trigger 1: When the concurrency reaches the configured Max concurrency minus the Safety Margin, the login queue is enabled.
  2. Automatic Trigger 2: When the Max Login rate per second is reached, the login queue is enabled.

Disable Login Queue

The login queue will be disabled when both of these criteria are met:

  • Criterion 1: None of the automatic enabling triggers are met during the Cooldown.
  • Criterion 2: The queue reaches zero.

Display current position and estimated wait time

When the queue is enabled, the players have to wait for the concurrency to drop below the maximum concurrency to be processed. The queue is processing logins at the maximum rate equal to Login rate.

Roadmap

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Please be aware that the roadmap may undergo changes over time as priorities shift.

MilestoneTimeline
M1: Login Queue configurations as a game admin: I want to configure the login queue in the admin portal to limit the maximum number of players logged in at the same time for my games.March 2024
M2: Login Queue behaviors as a player: I want to know what place I am in and the approximate wait time.March 2024
M3: Monitoring the Login Queue as a game admin: I want to monitor the metrics of login queue per game namespace over time.Early Q2, 2024

FAQ

Q: Is Login Queue available in the Publisher namespace?

A: No, Login Queue is only available in Game Namespaces.

Q: Will we provide players the Total Queue Size alongside the current queue position and estimated wait time at the game client side?

A: No, we will only return and display the player's current queue position and estimated wait time on the game client side.